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"GEU" 2008 Obituary


GEU o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2008-04-09 published
It is with sadness that we announce the passing of the matriarch of our family on April 5, 2008.
Willy or Oma, as she was known to all, was born in Semarang on the island of Java in Indonesia. She was the only child of Dirk Th. W. VAN STEENBERGEN and Wilhelmina LE GEU. Her early years were spent on a sugar plantation managed by her father. At the age of 17 she was sent to The Netherlands to live with an aunt and uncle while she continued her education at secondary and post secondary school. She married the love of her life, Adriaan (Ad) DIRKS, on December 06, 1939. Together they had three daughters, Anke, Elsje and Luke. Their lives were impacted by the dark years of the German occupation during World War 2. Willy spent many kms. on the road, on a bicycle with no tires, trading wedding presents for food for her family. During this time Willy worried about her parents who were imprisoned in a Japanese concentration camp on the island of Java.
Determined to find a better life, Willy, Ad and the girls moved to the island of Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles and then 5 years later to Canada. As a trained bookkeeper, Willy who spoke 6 languages, first worked alongside her husband in his insurance business. However, after the girls were educated and married, Willy started Wellington Way Travel agency with offices in Markham, Ontario and Unionville, Ontario. In 1976 she retired from the business world, moved to North Eastern Ontario, to be close to her family. Unfortunately her health failed and Oma, as she was known then, moved to Northview Nursing Home in Englehart, Ontario.
Willy was predeceased by her parents, her husband Adriaan (1972), her daughter Elizabeth LOGAN (1982) and son-in-law William LOGAN She is survived by her daughters and spouses Anne and Ronald BAILEY and Lucy and Lawrence DUKE all of Thornloe, Ontario. Also by her 8 grandchildren and their spouses David BAILEY and Susan DAVIS- BAILEY, Jennifer BAILEY and David BAERG, Christopher DUKE and Elise ROBITAILLE, Andrea and Hugh HAMILTON, Matthew and Carol DUKE, Ian and Lisa LOGAN, Robert and Susan LOGAN and Jodi and Michael HARKER as well as 15 great-grandchildren.
Friends and family will be received at McDonalds Funeral Home on Tues. April 8th, a funeral Mass will follow on Wed. April 9th at Holy Trinity Church both location are in Englehart, Ontario.

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